Homelessness In America

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Homelessness has become a widespread problem, with people being affected globally. In the United States alone, an estimated 3.5 million people experience being homeless each year (Overview of Homelessness). Being homeless is often defined as “having no home or permanent place of residence (Homeless).” So the question is, how can so many people end up without a house to live in? Many different factors help contribute to growing rates of homelessness in America, however homelessness in the United States can mainly be attributed to low income and lack of affordable housing, substance abuse, and mental illnesses (Causes of Homelessness). First, low income rates and an increase in the cost of living both contribute heavily to the growth of homelessness. Nearly a quarter of homeless people living in the United States have one or more jobs, however they do not receive enough money to afford their rent or mortgage (Cox). According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, families would need around $15 an hour, twice the average minimum wage, to afford the monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment. Wages for low income workers have decreased in the past 25 years, while the cost of …show more content…
A common stereotype of homeless people is that they struggle with some form of substance addiction, a stereotype that can be justified. 68 percent of cities in the United States report that addiction remains the leading cause for homelessness (Causes of Homelessness). Expensive drug habits can destroy an individual financially, and lead to unemployment, debt, arrest, illness, or death (Cox). For many, these substances can bring temporary relief for struggling individuals. However, addiction only increases financial problems, and makes it more difficult to find employment (Orwin). Many of those who struggle with addiction cannot afford health insurance or receive any form of treatment, leaving them on their

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